Author Archives: ramanujshastry

About ramanujshastry

Judgmental, self-obsessed, pompous, unbalanced and brilliant. In that order.


She opens her eyes
and thinks of him,
and brushes her teeth
and thinks of him,
and forgets to eat
breakfast thinking of him,
and thinks of him in the shower
and looks at the time and wonders
if it will seem too needy
if she messages him so early
and fiddles with her phone
looking out of the window of the
cab on her way to work
wondering what he is doing now
and then gets angry at herself
and switches off her phone
and sits fuming
and vowing not to check
her messages like a addict
looking for a fix and plunges
headlong into work
all fake smile and
desperate enthusiasm.

Thankfully, there are fires to fight
and real problems to solve
and half a day goes by.

And after lunch without
thinking she checks her
phone again.


And she hates herself
for needing him so much
when he so obviously needs
her so little and gets busy
again so that she can out-busy
the busy man with no time
to love her back and when she
looks up it’s dark outside and
she’s tired and hungry and
needs a hug and she checks
her phone absolutely sure there
won’t be a message from him.

And there isn’t.

And suddenly
she’s biting back
tears of a sadness
so overwhelming
it wrecks her insides
and she hurries
home beyond exhausted
like a zombie, bathes,
eats dinner makes herself a
drink and then another and another
till she overcomes her pride
and hating herself messages him.

‘You there?’

Fifteen agonising,
humiliating minutes
later a beep.

With a thudding heart
she opens her inbox.

‘ Hey… wiped out. Talk tom?’

‘Sure’ she types ‘Good night’

the night is cold
like her heart
and dry like her eyes.



Once upon a time

I knew a girl

who’d visit

Chandigarh often.

She had family there.

‘I’m off to Chandi!’

she’d breezily

inform me, as if we had

both agreed on this

abbreviation since

our early childhood.

I had only known her for

six months.

She had translucent skin

with green veins, startled

eyes the colour of eddies

in clear mountain streams,

and a mouth like

an open wound

that needed urgent


God, I ached

for her and she kind

of liked that

I did.

We left it at that though.

Anything else was


of course.

Our lives were


parallel lines like

Le Corbusier

designed streets.

Years later,

I am on a plane

to Chandi.

My first visit there.

But it’s already

kind of familiar.

Like a woman

whose daughter

you’ve once




There are days when

she wakes up,

checks her phone,

sees a ‘love you’

message from me,

brushes, showers,

has muesli and cold milk

for breakfast,

wears ‘I mean business’ clothes,

ditches the eyeliner,

ties her hair in a bun

and clutching a laptop bag

descends into the madness

to earn the rent.

There are days when

she’s too busy to

even type ‘fuck you’.


The 2nd of Jan

has none of the

swagger of the 1st.

It’s entirely unremarkable.

Like the obscure sibling

of a movie star.

Cold with resentment.

Bitter at missing

out on greatness by a day.

A whiff of regret in the air.

The 2nd of Jan.

It’s the world limping

back to being

ordinary again.

Whoopsy Daisy

Balance is not what she seeks.
She’s on a seesaw with herself.
She’s happy and she’s sad.
She’s good but she’s bad.
She’s rich and she’s broke.
She’s the bullock and she’s a yoke.
She’s scarred and she’s pretty.
She’s precious and she’s shitty.
She smart and she’s an fool.
She’s avant garde and uncool.

She’s here but she’s out of town.
She’s an old soul and a bit a clown.
But that’s her. And that’s her.
See? Saw?


When the weather turns cold
my thoughts turn to you
like heat-seeking missiles.

Cluster bombs of memories
rip through my carefully
constructed peace.

And a phantom pain sears me
where my heart used to be.
The one that I gave to you.

The one that you gave me, I lost.
Careless of me.
Doesn’t matter anymore.

The love we had
lies six feet under in
some unmarked grave
in a no man’s land.

Under the rubble of
laughter and kisses.

Hopefully wildflowers
will grow on them someday
when spring returns.

When the cold is gone.


She’s back.

After doing her time

for no crime.

Changed but

undamaged by her walk

through the fire.

Still smelling of wine and madness.

Her hug, still all or nothing.

Her laughter, still from her gut.

Wiser and crazier.

She’s back.

To take back what’s hers.